Breastfeeding Support

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A nurse demonstrates how to use a breast pump

Questions about Breastfeeding? Please call a location below or visit a Baby Café.

Catholic Health Locations

Catholic Health Home Care
144 Genesee Street
2nd Floor
Buffalo, NY 14203

Mercy Hospital of Buffalo
565 Abbott Road
Buffalo, NY 14220

Mount St. Mary's Hospital
5300 Military Road
Lewiston, NY 14092

Sisters of Charity Hospital
2157 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214


Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best thing that you can do for you and your baby. Not only does it create a lifelong bond between mother and child, but it keeps you and your baby healthy.

The nutrients and antibodies in breast milk help to protect your baby and prevent disease. Breast milk is easier for your baby to digest compared to formula, and it changes as your baby grows, giving him or her just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein.

Because breast milk protects your baby, he or she is sick less often, resulting in fewer visits to the doctor and fewer missed days from work for mom or dad.

Women who breastfeed are able to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly and have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.

For more information about the benefits of breastfeeding, download our PDF in your language:

English / Spanish / Chinese / Amharic / French / Polish / Somali

Breastfeeding Classes

It is recommended that moms who are planning to breastfeed learn about the process before they give birth.

Breastfeeding classes are offered at both Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and Sisters of Charity Hospital.

Under the guidance of an experienced, internationally board certified lactation consultant, our breastfeeding classes will help answer common questions and concerns that many new families experience during pregnancy. We will prepare the new family for both the initial breastfeeding experience and what to expect during the first few weeks at home.

Click here for a registration form.

Breastfeeding at the Hospital

Upon admission, let your doctor and nurse know that you plan to breastfeed.

The first 1-2 hours of your baby’s life are the most important for breastfeeding, as the sucking instinct is strong during this period. Ask to breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery.

Many times, our labor and delivery nurses assist moms with the first breastfeeding. Every labor and delivery nurse is trained to support breastfeeding moms.

To further assist you with breastfeeding, certified lactation consultants are available daily at Mercy Hospital and Sisters of Charity Hospital. Our lactation consultants see each patient before discharge.

We recommend that breastfeeding moms keep their babies in their rooms overnight. This is called “rooming-in.” When you room-in, you can feed your baby breast milk exclusively; this is especially important at night, when the hormone that makes milk (prolactin) is higher. Rooming-in is the best choice for breastfeeding success.

Mercy Hospital

Lactation Consultants

Nine certified lactation consultants and three certified lactation counselors are on staff at Mercy Hospital. Not only do they teach the hospital’s breastfeeding classes, but they provide guidance to new moms who are recovering in our postpartum suites.

Nurses

Many of the nurses on staff are educated in providing lactation assistance. Many times, labor and delivery nurses assist moms with the first breastfeeding.

Mercy Hospital is a Mother-Baby Unit, which means that the same nurse who takes care of mom also takes care of baby. This arrangement allows for the least separation possible of mom and child. By keeping your child close, you’re able to recognize feeding cues and breastfeed when your baby is hungry.

Private Rooms

Our postpartum rooms are private rooms, limited to one family. This privacy allows you to breastfeed comfortably, without distractions.

Instruction and Classes

If you require breastfeeding information or advice, speak to your nurse, and she or he will assist you or ask a lactation consultant to visit your room.

At 11 a.m., you may attend a class that covers many areas of newborn care. This class is offered daily.

At Mercy Hospital, free television services are offered to all patients. Watch the Newborn Channel for programs that discuss all aspects of newborn care.

Sisters Hospital

Lactation Consultants

Seven lactation consultants are on staff at Sisters Hospital. They teach the hospital’s breastfeeding classes, and they provide guidance to new moms in the ante partum, postpartum and level 3 NICU units.

They also assist patients who have been readmitted to other areas of the hospital to maintain their milk supply and answer any questions they may have.

Lactation consultants at Sisters Hospital are available 7 days a week. To speak to a lactation consultant, please call (716) 862-1939.

Nurses

Many of the nurses on staff are educated in providing lactation assistance. Often labor and delivery nurses assist moms with the first breastfeeding.

Private Rooms

Our postpartum rooms are private rooms, limited to one family. This privacy allows you to breastfeed comfortably, without distractions.

Instruction

If you require breastfeeding information or advice, speak to your nurse, and she or he will assist you or ask a lactation consultant to visit your room.

At Sisters Hospital, free television services are offered to all patients. Watch the Newborn Channel for programs that discuss all aspects of newborn care.

Videos can be delivered to your room if additional education is requested.

Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights

During your hospital stay, you will be provided with a bill or rights, which outlines your rights as a breastfeeding mom in a New York State hospital.

These rights include the ability to:

  • Keep your baby with you at all times
  • Breastfeed at any time
  • Receive breastfeeding guidance
  • Prevent your baby from receiving pacifiers or bottles

Please ask your nurse if you have any questions about these rights.

Click here to download the bill of rights from the New York State Department of Health website.

Visits from a Home Care Nurse

After returning home from the hospital, moms can sometimes feel overwhelmed, as their babies need more frequent feedings and visitors stop by to welcome the new family member.

Our home care nurses can make the transition from hospital to home easier, and reassure you that you can successfully breastfeed and care for your baby.

Your home care nurse will:

  • Monitor your recovery by checking your blood pressure, c-section scar, or episiotomy
  • Monitor your baby’s health, by checking his or her weight, skin color, temperature and heart and lungs
  • Observe and assist during breastfeeding, making sure that your baby is positioned properly and that you are comfortable
  • Weigh your baby after a feeding and develop a feeding plan if more weight gain is needed
  • Teach you how to use a breast pump
  • Show you how to keep your baby safe while he or she sleeps
  • Answer any questions about caring for your baby

We will contact your doctor for approval before a home care visit is scheduled.

Breastfeeding Assistance 24/7

You may contact a home care nurse at any time, day or night. A phone number will be provided to you during your first visit.

Length of a Home Care Visit

Expect your first home care visit to last 1-2 hours. At this time, your nurse will record your medical history, monitor your recovery, examine your baby and observe an entire feeding.

How to Schedule a Home Care Visit

Home Care visits are available to moms living in Erie County.

During your stay in the hospital, let your lactation nurse know that you would like a home visit from a nurse.

Within a few days after you return home from the hospital, you will be contacted by one of our staff, who will schedule your appointment. If you feel that you no longer need a home care visit, you are under no obligation to make an appointment.

If you did not request a home care visit during your hospital stay, please ask your baby’s pediatrician for a referral.

Insurance Coverage

Most insurances cover 1-3 visits from a home care nurse. Prior to making an appointment, our staff will verify that our services are covered by your insurance company.

You will be notified in advance if you will be responsible for a co-pay.

Baby Café Support Group

Baby Café is a weekly drop-in center for moms who are breastfeeding and need support and guidance from certified lactation consultant nurses. You can:

  • Learn about breastfeeding during your pregnancy
  • Meet other moms who are breastfeeding
  • Get answers to breastfeeding questions and concerns

Relax and join us for coffee, support and information facilitated by a registered nurse and certified lactation consultant.

Baby Café at Sisters

Baby Café at Sisters Hospital on Tuesday, August 13, 2013

  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays
  • Location: M. Steven Piver Center on the campus of Sisters Hospital (2121 Main Street, Buffalo) in the conference room

Baby Café at Mercy

  • Hours: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays
  • Location: OB/GYN Associates of WNY, 3050 Orchard Park Rd., West Seneca

More Information

No reservations are needed. If you have questions, please call (716) 862-1939.

Community Resources for Breastfeeding

Website Offers
New York State Department of Health Education, Breastfeeding Bill of Rights
New York State Breastfeeding Coalition Information about breastfeeding laws
It's Only Natural Planning for breastfeeding, overcoming challenges, finding support
CareConnection Breastfeeding pumps, classes, support group